The Biggest Trends in Event Technology This Year, Per Nine Expert Women in Event Tech

June 4, 2019

Tom Pick

Tom Pick is a digital marketing consultant who works with event management platform developer G2Planet to share the company's insights and knowledge with corporate event marketing professionals.

As the universe of event technology continues to expand and event planners expand their use of technology at live gatherings, a number of trends are emerging for the coming year. But according to eight of the smartest women in event tech, one trend stands out.

When asked what they see as the biggest trends in events, particularly in relation to event technology, members of the Women in Event Tech community gave a wide range of answers.

They cited emerging technologies (artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality/AR), personalization, influencer marketing, integration with enterprise marketing platforms, and post-event promotion among the key trends. Two specifically mentioned attendee acquisition technology as an area of focus.

Nearly all of these experts say technology that enhances and engagement and the event experience will be hot this year. Per Corey Fennessy, "Talking at booths and going to sessions isn't enough anymore, experiences need to be created for attendees to spark a feeling. This may end up being their biggest takeaway from the event, leaving the most impact."

Speaking about AR event apps, Kahshanna Evans states, "Event tech has evolved.  Beyond the stylized conference apps that help us navigate events...[AR apps take] creativity to another level...  Suddenly, the average smart device becomes a vehicle that bridges real creativity."

And Donella Muzik adds that "Use of AV to create exceptional experiences and deeper engagement, similar to how retail, stadia, and transportation industries are using AV to enhance and transform the user experience" will be a notable trend.

Here are the full answers:

Carly Silberstein

Twitter: @carlysilber

CEO, Redstone Agency

(The biggest trend is) artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) to support and enhance all of the various roles/tasks that event professionals are responsible for.

Dahlia El Gazzar

Twitter: @DahliaElGazzar

Tech Evangelist / DAHLIA+ Agency

Any tech that does the following (will be big this year):

  1. Attendee Acquisition
  2. Attention Acquisition
  3. Immersive experiences
  4. User-generated content and social sharing
  5. Influencer marketing

Corey Fennessy

LinkedIn

Creative Director, DAHLIA + Agency

Personalization: Like everything we encounter in our everyday lives, events—even those with thousands of attendees—are trying to create a personalized feel. This can be schedule/session suggestions based on the person's title, "make sure you don't miss" alerts based on data about what that person likes, or even something tangible like asking them their favorite color at registration and incorporating that into their badge/lanyard.

Experiences: Talking at booths and going to sessions isn't enough anymore; experiences need to be created for attendees to spark a feeling. This may end up being their biggest takeaway from the event, leaving the most impact.

Kahshanna Evans

Twitter: @KahshannaEvans

Founder, Kissing Lions Public Relations

The biggest event trends are experiential and social in nature, aiming to create an authentic connection between guests and inspiring brand loyalty.  Event tech has evolved. 

Beyond the stylized conference apps that help us navigate events such as TechsyTalk or TechDay, experiential tech such as Artivive, takes creativity to another level.  Artivive is an app which promotes augmented reality art.  Suddenly, the average smart device becomes a vehicle that bridges real creativity.  When the app is opened and hovered over a still image at an event, an animated, meaningful message or animation is revealed.  

Beyond our interest in being cool, hip, and sophisticated just for bragging rights—even if it's humblebragging rights—there's still increasing interest in social impact, philanthropy, and growing meaningful communities.  Apps like CauseMobile can activate events through all stages of online, off-line, and SMS give-back or fundraising initiatives.  

No matter the tech, it's creative genius, innovation, and humanity that inspires the human spirit at events and in real life.

Stephanie Selesnick

Twitter: @stephselesnick

President, International Trade Information, Inc.

Most of the interesting activity in the event tech space centers around attendee acquisition, which is great.

Shirley Craven

LinkedIn

SMMP Consultant and Managing Director, Curvebox Ltd

Back-end integrations with internal supplier systems, e.g., meeting management technology with enterprise platforms such as SAP, Ariba, CRM etc.

Pauline Kwasniak

Twitter: @SellingMICE

Founder, TurnedSee & Hotels4Meetings

The two biggest trends I see in event tech are for engagement, using apps such as Slido, and for post-event promotion, with tools like Huggity.

Donella Muzik

LinkedIn

Director, International Marketing and Outreach, AVIXA

One of the biggest trends is the use of AV to create exceptional experiences and deeper engagement, similar to how retail, stadia, and transportation industries are using AV to enhance and transform the user experience.

Paula Rowntree

Twitter: @TheEventsQueen

Head of Events & Experience at The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

The biggest trend I'm seeing in events, particularly in relation to technology, is using it to capture future-focused data to evolve the delegate experience.

There's a shift away from the Big Bang, all encompassing experiences and a move towards creating what feels like bespoke, intimate experiences built around the needs of the individuals. The right data can tell us what those experiences need to be for our event personas.


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